Way to post, no post...
Wow... I sure am behind on this blogging stuff. To be honest, It's been a busy winter. Kids hockey, too much Red Dead Redemption 2, blah blah blah. The truth is, my motivation started to lack on doing anything outside of hibernating.
Back in January, my friends at Ox Motorcycles ran a "Tech Church" session at my other friend's (Pow Wow Moto) shop. The tech session covered removal and top-end disassembly of a CB750 engine. The folks at Pow Wow Moto are not for-profit bike builders, rather they are bike enthusiasts like I and many of my friends. They have this cute shop outside their home out in rural Manitoba that is super cozy and functional. The interior is tongue and groove pine, has a simple lit workbench and some nice chairs and a small table. The walls have vintage motorcycle memorabilia and there are a couple of smaller and older bikes that are mounted at eye sight on display. The exterior has a really nice sided finish with the Pow Wow insignia over top the overhead door. It's a great place and became a source of motivation for me to get my ass off the couch and into the shop.
Immediately that evening when I came home, I made it my mission to get my shop organized and cleaned up so I could start back on my projects. To list what I had on the go:
1. 1981 Honda CB400T - this is my daily rider and is mostly complete, however I continue to make modifications. Constant work in progress.
2. 1978 Kawasaki KE175 Enduro - This bike was all in pieces and needed to be painted, engine needed new gaskets installed and then full re-assembly.
3. 1966 Suzuki S32-2 (x2) - I have two of these in the shop at the moment. One is going to be the built bike and the other is a donor. Both have seized engines (top end only), one is a barn find and the donor was originally running when parked (bullshit). So this project is going to be a long cycle for sure...
4. 1981 Honda CB650C - I bought this bike last year for about $650. It was sitting in a shop for 20 years and needed some life brought back to it. I bought it as my 400 was feeling a bit light on the highways, so I wanted something bigger. I bought it with little in mind of what I wanted to do with it, but have now set my sights on making it somewhat of a cafe racer / brat... whatever that looks like.
So with all these bikes, a snowblower, tons of tools and junk hanging around, I started to work small. I made a pile of stuff to throw out, a pile to donate and then the rest was to re-organize. Once those were done, it made a significant amount of room to breathe and to move around.
I then tackled my work bench. I had stuff everywhere. I removed everything and put it all in one big tote. I repainted the work bench,washed the wall where the workbench is installed against and then began planning. I wanted some shelves for my typically used consumables such as penetrating fluids, oil, shop towels, carb cleaner etc. So I used some left over materials and built a 4 level shelf. Bam, just like that, my work bench was that much more organized. It was good, but something was missing. I dug around in my shop and found some pegboard and some trim casing. So with those pieces, I build a framed pegboard and mounted it over the work bench and put all my commonly used motorcycle tools up there.... spark plug wrenches, compression tester, carb cleaning tools, smaller wrenches and wire brushes.
This feeling of organization and cleanliness gave my motivation a boost to keep moving on the projects. So I got back on the KE175. I gave the engine a good scrub down and then painted the head and block in the original black. I polished up the aluminum cases to a decent shine and then I replaced all the engine gaskets. Once this was complete, I decided to tackle the tires. I had bought some dual-purpose Shinko tires to go on this bike as I expect to ride it both in the city and on trail. I picked up a set of tire spoons on Amazon for about $20 CAD and got them in a couple days later. After some trial and mostly error and some patches later, I got my tires and tubes on the rims. These tires look nice and knobby on these aluminum rims.
This brought me to the next stage of the project, full re-assembly. I got the swingarm and forks mounted back on the frame and then mounted the wheels. Everything was looking nice and clean, so I put the engine on the rolling frame and continued to reassemble the bike right up to the tank. I had to acquire a "new" coil and CDI as this bike was purchased without them, but managed to find an eBay seller in Alberta that had both and combined the shipping for me. I had everything ready to go and assembled and ready to fire up. I connected the gas line and whoops... the petcock tube snapped off the petcock. Back to eBay, I ordered a new one and it was a perfect fit.
I'm not super familiar with two-strokes, so over the last couple of days I've been struggling to get this puppy going. I have the triad of combustion engines (air, spark and fuel) but something is a miss. I've been poking at my moto buddies that are more familiar with two strokes for thoughts and assistance and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get this one running within the next couple of days. I have nowhere to ride as of yet since it's still pretty cold here (-4C currently) but it would still be nice to get one of these projects done and off the check list.
I'll be blogging more about my projects but also talking about them on the new Podcast that I co-host with my pals Dan from Pow Wow Moto and Aaron from Ox Motorcycles. You should check it out. We talk about motorcycles, people, adventures and whatever else crosses the mind that day. Available on iTunes, Spotify and on this website, just click on the "more" link at the top of the page and then select podcast.